I’ve seen the Origami videos lurking around the net, and seen the website:
[ http://www.origamiproject.com/ ] and at all glances at first I thought we were looking at some new type of tablet PC. Some people are heralding it as a mobile gaming platform to compete with the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, others are claiming it’ll be Microsoft’s answer to the Apple iPod. No one really knows what they’re talking about yet, since the product isn’t going to be unveiled until tomorrow, March 2nd. Engadget has a good writeup about it though:
Even so, ValleyWag has a few ideas about what it might be, and points out that it looks a lot like the “Wallet PC” that Bill Gates wanted way back in 1995, and also points out that a recent PC World article claims that “Origami will be a niche product, appealing mostly to women rather than a large audience.”
Erk. Well that just brought all that to a screeching halt, didn’t it? I had high hopes before I read that. If that’s true, (aside from being a nightmare for trying to bring gender balance to technology) then what could the thing possibly DO that’s specifically feminine-targeted? We’ve seen how targeted products wind up, Nokia targeting gamers with its N-Gage cellphone/gaming platform/catastrophe, for example. To be honest, I’m now instead of hoping that it’s better than my first impression that it’d just be a tablet PC or digital media controller that’s bigger than an iPod or a PDA and smaller than an actual tablet PC, actually praying that that’s all it is. Bad things happen when marketing agents insist that product designers “target” products instead of focus on features and functionality, but that’s just my opinion. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow!
(photo courtesy of Engadget )